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Member of the National Genealogical Society 2018
Member of the New Mexico Genealogical Society 2018

18th Century Ancestors - How Do I Find Them?

It's tough, isn't it? The ease at which we started finding our families in 1850, wasn't available before that time. Women and children were noted by "|" marks, void of names.

If you're like me, I had more than my share of James Pattons in my family tree. James Patton was like the John Smiths out of the United Kingdom. Every family had ten.

We can not assume that peoples' names are unique and that there is only one Anna Anderson, or Jacob Warren in every county or state. Those of us who have studied 18th century history know the common practice of using the same family names repeatedly. If it hadn't been for the names James, Robert, Thomas, and Matthew, I wouldn't have a Patton family line!

Searching earlier ancestors is possible, though it may take a bit of creativity. If you know the locations where they resided, there are publications on the market that may bear their names, the spouses they married, and their childrens' names. One of these is portrayed above in the photo of the day.

Also, search some of these publications on Google Books and Ancestry.com. Some or all parts of various ancestry books may and can be found on these sites. As always, cite your sources to show where your information came from for future researchers and family members.


(Photo: Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, John Farmer)




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